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Why are trumpeter swans so amazing?

5 Jul

Have you ever had someone tell you, “Trumpeter swans mate for life!  Isn’t that so cool.”  It’s a statement that reinforces monogamous value sets.  However I personally think it does just the opposite.

The reason people point out the trumpeter swam as a monogamous animal is because 99% of the animal kingdom is NOT monogamous.  In all arenas of the animal kingdom sexual exclusivity is rare, not the norm.  Even in socially monogamous species, species whose male/female partners pair to raise offspring, the majority of those are not sexually exclusive.  90% of birds are socially monogamous while 30% of eggs in a nest are sired by someone other than the resident male.  Given the overwhelming evidence that the animal kingdom is largely non-monogamous, which do you think humans are?

Poly

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You need one of these three things to survive jealousy…

2 Jul

Lots of time I hear monogamous people ask how poly people deal with jealousy over other partners.   Typically after discussing compersion and the benefits we both get from multiple partners the conversation shifts to security.  How can you trust that your partner won’t run away with the hot guy from the gym or that cute waitress?  I tend to point out that these concerns aren’t just poly concerns since mono-relationships end similarly, but then I suggest there are three things that prevent jealousy from overwhelming you.  If you don’t have one of these three things I believe Polyamory isn’t for you.  You will never be able to let the love of your life enjoy new relationships.   This is particularly relevant for couples thinking of opening their relationship.

The three things are as follows:

Confidence in yourself.  This means you feel that you are an attractive, fun, caring partner worthy of love.  This means you value yourself and you know you offer something unique to your partner.  The shared experiences between the two have created a connection that is not easily replicated.  This confidence provides a buffer against worrying over other relationships.  You feel safe letting your partner explore because you know you are someone special.

Faith in your partner.   This means you believe with religious fervor in your partners ability to love you.  You don’t necessarily have the confidence in yourself.  You might not always be able to see in yourself what they see in you but you always trust that they love you and will give your relationship the respect and care it’s due.  In this situation you don’t mind them going out with other people because you believe that they will always be there for you and take care of your relationship.

Being a whole person on your own.  This means you can operate in the world and be happy on your own without a partner.  You understand that there are lots of people in the world and the loss of a partner doesn’t end your life (though it may feel like it sometimes).   This helps deal with jealousy because ultimately you understand that you will always be ok even if your existing partner leaves.  I’m not saying it won’t hurt and that you won’t cry a million tears (I have).  I’m just saying you will heal and even on your own you are fundamentally ok.

I’ve known people successful at poly relationship that have one or two of these three things.  I’ve also known a lot of monogamous couples who didn’t have these qualities, attempted to open the relationship and ended up leaving the relationship.  Hopefully you have a few of these traits and if not perhaps you can start cultivating them.  Good luck.

Poly

If you would like a personal question answered directly please send me an email at dearpoly@gmail.com  I’d love to hear from you!

How much sex is enough?

1 Jul

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2283872/Rowan-Pellings-sex-advice-column-Im-jealous-friends-sex-life.html

QUESTION: A good friend is always going on about how much sex she has with her husband.  I’ve been with my partner for 14 years — like my pal and her spouse — and we’re lucky if we make love once a month (although it’s great when it happens). I’d blame it on our kids, but my friend has children, too. How can I stop feeling inadequate by comparison?

Frustrated

Dear Frustrated,

The issue isn’t your friend.  Him bragging is just the catalyst.  If he was an avid golfer and you didn’t much care for the sport would him bragging about his golfing performance bother you?  Probably not.  So the issue is he has touched on a subject that is a sore spot for you.  Presumably because YOU ONLY GET LAID ONCE A MONTH.

The tone of your note suggests you would prefer more physical intimacy.  I suspect most people have physical desires for more than once a month sex.  Have you discussed this with your partner?  Do you know why you two don’t make time for one of the most fun, free connected activities with incredible health benefits?  You wouldn’t feel inadequate if you were happy with once a month sex. So go address the real root cause of the issue and have a conversation with your partner.  You should also stop being mad at your friend who just gets laid more than you but really means you no ill will and .   Good luck.

Poly

If you would like a personal question answered directly please send me an email at dearpoly@gmail.com  I’d love to hear from you!

The thing about old flames is…

25 Jun

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2298575/Rowan-Pellings-sex-advice-column-Should-I-old-flame.html

QUESTION: Eighteen years ago, before I met my husband, I was madly in love with a married man. We parted because he had young children. We lost touch, but recently he contacted me via Facebook.  He wants to meet ‘one last time’. I adore my husband and children, but long to relive that intense passion. How can I resist this appeal?

Puzzled

Dear Puzzled,

First read this on limerance.  You can’t even begin to address your issue if you don’t understand limerance.  What you had with your old flame is an infatuation.  It’s an amazing feeling and who wouldn’t want to experience that feeling over again.  Intense passion is a lot of fun so go easy on yourself for wanting to relive that part of your life.  That said it’s not in the same ballpark as what you have with your husband which is a loving long term partnership involving children.  That is as connected as it gets.  For poly folk we understand the difference between hot new passion and long term love and commitment.  If you do understand the difference it’s possible to have both so long as you always give your existing relationships the attention they deserve.

In your situation I would meet with your old flame if you like so long as you understand the boundaries of your existing relationship prevent you from fulfilling the desires that might come out of a meeting.  It might be nice to catch up.  Only do this if you are confident you can keep your head on straight.  Good luck.

Poly

If you would like a personal question answered directly please send me an email at dearpoly@gmail.com  I’d love to hear from you!

Two guys but not enough connection!

24 Jun

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2331232/Rowan-Pellings-sex-advice-column-Neither-lovers-want-proper-relationship.html

QUESTION: I’ve been dating two men for the past year – with their knowledge. Neither wants a full-time relationship (all three of us divorced recently, so are still bruised). I know I should feel lucky with two lovers, but I’m starting to feel torn about having sex with one man, then another, with nothing deeper developing. What should I do?

Lucky

Dear Lucky

The problem isn’t the number of lovers you have.  I have had three truly intimate loving shared connections in my life at the same time at let me tell you it was fucking terrific.  The problem is that all three of you have been scarred and started the relationship from a state when you didn’t want to risk a lot of emotional intimacy.  Time has healed some of that for you and you are ready for more.  Sit them down and see if they have healed as you have and might be willing to take the plunge on a deeper connection.  Hopefully one or even better yet both will be interested.  Good luck,

Poly

If you would like a personal question answered directly please send me an email at dearpoly@gmail.com  I’d love to hear from you!

Definition of a successful relationship

12 Jun

What is the bar set at for a successful relationship?  Generally a successful relationship in the mono world (and sometimes the poly world) is that it last forever.  Anything short of life mates is considered a failure in the holy grail quest for a life partner.  It’s very difficult to meet this bar.  I think we are better off redefining our expectations about successful relationships to include short relationships.  Very few relationships can last forever and defining everything else as failure is incredibly negative.

I would define successful relationships as one where you are able to be yourself and interact in a ethical, responsible and mature fashion.  You get a chance to be yoursefl and connect with someone on an emotional and hopefully physical level.  If the relationship ends, the separation isn’t full of bile and ugly feelings (which mostly is accomplished through being responsible and mature DURING the relationship).  If all those conditions are satisfied I can look back fondly at the relationship.  I can have fond memories of our good times together and the experience of getting to know a new person.  Hopefully I’ll minimize the incompatibilities and negative aspects of the relationship.  With this more forgiving definition I’ll be excited to experience the next successful relationship.

Poly

The crushing weight of monogamous first dates

11 Jun

Picture a nice first coffee date.  You got all dressed up to meet a guy you met online.  You had some good conversation and he was super hot with his bald head and construction worker hard body.  On the way home you start thinking, could I bring this person home to Mom?  Can I see myself having children with him?  What about religion? Do we have compatible attitudes towards finance?  If you are monogamous some of these questions run through your head for EVERY guy you date.  Since you only get to have one life partner there really isn’t room for dating anyone other than someone who fits all the really important categories for you.

Thank god I’m poly.  I believe in organic relationships.  This means I let relationships evolve into whatever they were meant to be without imposing artificial culturally prescribed structures onto them.  In poly you can have a serious long term partner who you bring home to parents and have children with.  But you also get to have a lover you see once a month on business trips, a weekly dancing + sex date and any other permutation you can think of that you want.  When I go on a first date I’m just looking to have a good time.  The relationship might end there or it might go on for months or forever.  The expectations are much more reasonable and rational than the expectations of a monogamous person (whether they are consciously recognized or not).  Cheers to all those who already have experienced the joy of an expectationless first date!

Poly